Praying Like Jesus (Hebrews 5:7) - Radical

Praying Like Jesus (Hebrews 5:7)

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
– Hebrews 5:7

Wow, what a phrase and what a glimpse into Jesus’ prayer life. In the days of his flesh and his time on the earth, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears. Just pictured Jesus the way he prayed with loud cries, with tears flowing down his face. Even that alone leads us to ask, “Do we pray like that?”

Hebrews 5:7 teaches us the example of Christ’s prayer life.

Do you pray like that, with loud cries and with tears? Obviously, not in a manufactured way. What what’s causing that? Really think what would cause Jesus to cry out aloud with tears in his eyes? He was pleading before the Father. The Lord was crying out. He really believed the Father was listening to him. He believed that the Father would act according to what he said. And he really wanted to be with the Father. His emotions were totally enthralled in that.

Does that describe your prayer life? And then the rest of this verse goes on to say he cried out with loud cries in tears to him who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his reverence. Does that word describe your prayer life, reverence? Think if we’re not careful, many of us, and I include myself in this, can pray without reverence, awe of God, that recognition of his holiness and his grandeur and his glory.

Hebrews 5:7 teaches us the significance of Christ’s prayerful dependence.

Just think about, we talk about this all the time in my family, when we’re about to pray before we eat, let’s think about who we’re talking to. Let’s not just close our eyes and say some words. Are we praying with reverence? And even on this podcast, I’m thinking, “Oh, how easy is it for me just to say some words or you just to listen to a prayer and either one of us not be doing so with reverent awe and wonder of the weight of the glory of the God we’re speaking to.”

I just want to encourage you to take prayer seriously, in light of Jesus’ example to us, oh God, even right now, help us to realize who you are, who we’re talking to in all your glory and all your holiness. We praise you for making access to you, relationship with you, prayer to you possible through Jesus’ death on the cross for us so that we can come to you anytime, anywhere, all the time.

But, God, we want to do so all the time, anytime, anywhere, with reverence, with awe. We pray that you would keep us, guard us from being overly casual in our praying, from missing the wonder of who you are in our praying, the weight of who you are. Oh, God, and teach us to pray in light of who you are with loud cries and with tears. God, we pray for prayer lives like Jesus.

Prayer for the Geman Deng People

Lord, teach us to pray like this and even now just feel led to put that into practice. God, to cry out aloud to you. I don’t want to shout in a way that’s unhelpful for people who are listening right now, but God, we pray right now for the Geman Deng people of China. For this small people group that is one of the hardest-to-reach people groups in all of China with the gospel.

They’re only accessible, you know these things, God, by boat or on foot. They fear a variety of ghosts and demons. They believe they can calm the anger of those spirits and they sacrifice animals toward that end. They’re trapped in dire poverty, resulting of them sacrificing, killing valuable livestock. They go into heavy debts to pay for the services of someone who can appease the spirits. Oh, God, we pray, we cry out for the Geman Deng people of China.

Save them, God, save them. Cause the gospel to go to them, God. We’re crying out to you for your salvation among them. And we pray the same for salvation of friends and family members around us for the spread of the gospel through our lives. And, God, for all that’s going on in our lives, for all the hurts and the heartaches. God, we cry out, we need you. Teach us to pray like Jesus prayed according to your Word in Hebrews 5:7. We ask this in his name and we pray that we will be heard because of our reverence. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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